Wednesday Bolts: 02.05.20
Merry Trade Deadline Eve!
Aside from hawking Twitter for breaking news, I heartily recommend following HoopsRumors.com for the context and detail that makes sense of every deal. Exhibit A:
The Rockets, Hawks, Nuggets, and Wolves broke the ice with a zany four-team trade that would normally be reserved for fans with too much time on their hands.
Steven Adams on trade season and Woj bombs:
The Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Dunk Contest participants have all been announced. No Thunder players. I would suggest Hamidou Diallo’s elbow has more to do with his absence than the league’s snubbery.
We had midseason grades turned in for Terrance Ferguson, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schröder, and Nerlens Noel yesterday. The rest are coming to you today.
And if you missed it, you should definitely read Aidan Elrod’s check-in on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s development for Daily Thunder.
Paris Lawson (okcthunder.com) previews the long-time-coming game against the Cavaliers tonight.
Erik Horne (The Athletic) ranks the most irreplacable Thunder players with the trade deadline in view.
J.D. Tailor (Welcome to Loud City) observed the depressing two-year anniversary of Andre Roberson’s pattelar tendon injury: “His career was cut short before he even entered his prime — tremendously sad because I genuinely believe that Andre could have been one of the greats. He would have been totally anachronistic to the modern NBA due to his lack of a jump shot, but his skill at stopping opposing teams is undeniable, and it would have surely carried over in the next act of his career.”
Nolan Jensen (Hoops Habit) on Chris Paul turning the Thunder’s expectations around this season: “They feed off each other; Paul, the savvy veteran, and SGA, the promising 21-year-old with seemingly endless upside. They’re in two completely different segments in their respective careers, but the timing could not have been better for their paths to intersect. This was expected to be a season where the Oklahoma City Thunder tries desperately to shed Paul’s lucrative contract to further the rebuild or move veteran pieces like Danillo Gallinari and Steven Adams for assets, but they now enter this trade deadline with the luxury of leverage.”
Berry Tramel (The Oklahoman) thinks we should hold our horsies on the Lu Dort hype, noting a flash-in-the-pan game from Linton Johnson as a potential parallel: “I have no idea what the Hornets thought they had, but we thought the Hornets had found a keeper. Of course, Johnson soon fell into the dusty pages of history. He scored four points in his second Hornet game, then went eight straight games without a basket, twice because he didn’t even play.”
We won’t bolt this: Here’s the thing. Bill Simmons had an off-the-record conversation with Kobe Bryant (he specifically asked Kobe if he could divulge, and was explicitly told not to). Now he’s spilling the details of that conversation on a new podcast, before Bryant has even been buried. I realize this amounts to shaking my fist at the unstoppable wave of “how the internet works”, but I’m doing my best to ignore whatever Bryant told Simmons in confidence about OKC players in regards to the Thunder canon.
Two tweets regarding Schröder, presented without comment: